Follow Grace During the Process of Recovery

Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 1:45 AM

Are you a Christian struggling to overcome an addiction, abuse issue, the effects of a dysfunctional family, or some other stronghold in your life that keeps you personally ensnared? If you find yourself questioning God and wondering where he is during these trying times, then this article is written for you.

Sometimes, Christians falsely believe that their Christian life follows a formula. If I do a supposedly good thing, then God will bless me. If I try really really hard to be a good person, then God will reward me.

Sometimes, it appears to those walking “in righteousness” that the people who couldn’t care less about God seem to get all the breaks, money, children, good relationships, nice homes, nice jobs, or whatever it is we keep praying for and never seem to obtain. We start doubting the existence of God altogether because life is not following our preconceived formula of how life should work.

It may seem like a rude awakening for us, mere mortals, but God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). What we deem valuable, God may find irrelevant. While we keep looking for temporary comfort, reprieve from pain, human accolades, or some other lesser ideal, God is working on our hearts. Perhaps our strongholds serve a purpose in our lives that God has set up, and he uses these weaknesses for his ends. Remember the Apostle Paul who prayed three times for God to remove a “thorn in his flesh,” and God said, “no, my grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

Recovery requires grace. It is essential that you develop grace for yourself, learning to forgive yourself for being weak, for failing, for messing up, for causing problems, for not getting it right. You may never get “it” 100% right and you need to give yourself grace no matter what. What is grace? Grace is bigger than mercy. While mercy reduces the punishment we must face for our insurrections, grace eliminates punishment altogether. Grace involves forgiveness and more.
According to the Old Testament, grace means deliverance from enemies, affliction, or adversity; it also involves daily wisdom, preservation and forgiveness. In the New Testament, grace means salvation in Christ.

On a human level, we can only give ourselves grace to a limited degree. We do this by taking ourselves “off the hook.” We don’t require ourselves to be any more than we are. I think we assume that somehow we’re supposed to be able to do so much more than is realistic or even necessary.

One verse that I find very helpful to keep myself in a proper perspective is, 1 Peter 2:25, which reminds us that we are all like sheep, have gone astray, and need a shepherd. We cannot do recovery without the great shepherd. We are best served by taking our recovery out of our hands and surrendering our lives to God, asking him to take the lead.
For those struggling with some serious recovery issues, who can’t seem to stop smoking, using, enabling, being abused, abusing, etc., help and wisdom can be found in Scripture. For the Christian, God’s word has power. God gave us his word to provide us with the “food” we need for our souls, to sustain us.